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Old 01-24-07, 05:51 PM   #1
Old_Fart
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Riding down the volcano on Maui

I will be in Maui for four days next week and want to do a bike run down Haleakala.

I am traveling with a friend who doesn't ride. We will have a rental car so there are a couple ways to do this. I would like to hear the opinions of folks who have done this or similar things. How would you do the trip?

1. We could rent a bike, drive up the mountain and he could drive down while I ride.
2. I could go on a guided trip myself - they pick you up at the hotel and provide everything.
3. same as #2 but buddy goes along and rides down in the shuttle van - for the same price I pay to ride. (subject, of course to him being into this.)

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-25-07, 06:36 AM   #2
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I can only respond to the guided trip. It is worth the expense for the experience and the scenery, but if you want to pedal, you will be going in the wrong direction. It is approximately 37 miles to the bottom and there is no pedaling. Do it the first day of the trip if you are from the mainland, especially the east coast. You will have six hours of jet lag and be awake at 3 am Hawaii time anyway, so get up and "ride".

There are some folks who ride up the mountain. I would like to try it sometime, that would be a real 75 mile challenge. Good luck.
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Old 01-25-07, 08:55 AM   #3
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How would you do the trip?
My students have recommended the 37-mile ride DOWN the mountain. Said it was one of the best vacation events they'd ever done.

Never been to Hawaii myself so this is 2nd hand info. But if I ever go, I plan to ride down that mountain cuz it sounds like a blast! The bikes are supposedly fat tire clunkers but that doesn't matter because gravity allows you to enjoy the scenery while coasting for miles & miles.
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Old 01-25-07, 09:15 AM   #4
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From what I read while on vacation on Maui, the tour operators are not going to encourage or enable any non-group riding down Haleakala for safety's sake.

And on the group rides, the slowest, most light, timid rider sets the pace down the mountain. be prepared to spend lots of time laying on the brakes.

I'd recommend a blitzkrieg on your own. I need to bring my own bike over the next time I visit Maui.

chekc around, maybe a local Maui rider with some experience riding Haleakala can chime in. I found it was going to be near impossible to get a ride up top, then let free to descend independantly.
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Old 01-25-07, 09:58 AM   #5
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And on the group rides, the slowest, most light, timid rider sets the pace down the mountain. be prepared to spend lots of time laying on the brakes.
True. When I went with my wife they tried to put her in the front. She got all insulted that they thought she'd be slow, and insisted on being in the back of the line. Then she spent the ride being pissed off because she could have been setting the pace in front instead of riding the brakes in back!

That said, it was a fun thing to do. We did the dawn ride. It was nice to see the sun rise, but it was COLD on the way down.

I would say that it wouldn't be much fun for your friend in the van.

Haleakala is worth a couple of drives up. Go on your own for the ride down, and take a separate trip up with your friend. Hiking from the rim down into the crater is fantastic.

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Old 01-25-07, 10:09 AM   #6
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your friend could go down the mountain, have some coffee and hang out, then drive back up the road to meet you.
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Old 01-25-07, 11:30 PM   #7
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I have toured Maui a few times including riding up, and then down, Haleakala twice. I’ve watched a lot of tour groups go down while I was riding up. The group rides are very restricted as far as the speed they allow you to travel. They usually have a guide up front and a van in the back. There also seems to be bike rental shops that will rent you a bike and drop to at the top, leaving you to find your way back to their shop independently. With this arrangement to are free to travel at your own speed. Sorry, I don’t have any specifics.

On your way down, I recommend a stop at the shop next to Kula Lodge. They have great coffee and snacks, a nice seating area, and clean bathrooms.

Also, I have heard repeatedly that normal rim breaks will get so hot that you can blow your tire, but neither myself or any companions had any problems.

Have fun. I was grinning ear to ear both times I rode down.
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